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Student photojournalists scoop top awards

December 3, 2007 -- November was a bumper month for photojournalism students at SF State who received top honors from both the College Photographer of the Year contest sponsored by the National Press Photographers Association and from the 62nd College Photographer of the Year awards administered by the University of Missouri.

Award-winning photos by Michael Mullady and Justin Maxon. Click here for larger versions and caption information.

Journalism major Michael Mullady was named NPPA's College Photographer of the Year for 2006-2007, with second place awarded to another SF State student, Justin Maxon. In NPPA's contest, participants are awarded points for photos submitted during a yearlong period; the winner is the individual with the highest score. Many of Mullady's images were taken on his travels in rural Peru.

Mullady and Maxon were also among SF State winners in the 62nd College Photographer of the Year Awards, administered by the University of Missouri. Facing stiff competition from more than 400 student photographers in 10 countries, Mullady, Maxon, Brian Frank and Justin Mott captured a total of 11 honors. Frank picked up gold for spot news and Mott took gold for feature photography.

"We have a long tradition of students winning photography awards," said Professor Ken Kobré, who directs the photojournalism program in the Department of Journalism at SF State. He is also the author of "Photojournalism: The Professionals' Approach," the most widely used photojournalism textbook in the U.S.

"I'm very proud that others recognize the efforts and talents of our students," Kobré said. He credits "a talented crop of students taught by expert faculty," for the program's success along with a focus on practical experience. "We strongly encourage internships with newspapers and magazines, and many of our students undertake extensive international travel which provides them with rich and vibrant subject matter."

The Photojournalism program at SF State emphasizes covering news assignments throughout the Bay Area as well as documenting such social issues as the AIDS crisis, homicides in Oakland and health care in San Francisco.

This year's winners join SF State alumni who continue to capture prize-winning images in their professional careers. Former student Mary Calvert won this year's first prize in NPPA's Best of Photojournalism 2007 for her work with the Washington Times. Several years ago, Annie Wells, another former SF State photojournalism student who is now with the Los Angeles Times, won the Pulitzer Prize while at the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.

For more information, see the National Press Photographer's Association Web site and the College of the Photographer of the Year Web site.

Update Dec. 7, 2007

Maxon won first place in the November photojournalism competition of the Hearst Journalism Awards Program. This qualifies Maxon to compete in the semifinal round of judging in June 2008. The Hearst awards are considered the Pulitzer Prize of college journalism.

Maxon also won first place for best student portfolio in the Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar's annual competition.

-- Elaine Bible

-- Michael Bruntz


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